Biden's war on guns won't go better than War on Drugs has

Biden's war on guns won't go better than War on Drugs has
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden campaigned on his belief that gun control is the right way forward for this country. He ran on trying to restrict what people can and can’t do, namely buying certain kinds of firearms and magazines.

In essence, the president intends to declare war on guns.

Yet as one op-ed writer notes, this won’t go well.

The American Rescue Plan Act included $350 billion for state and local police departments. The administration has bolstered its multi-jurisdictional task forces, where FBI, ATF and DEA agents collaborate with local officers on drug and gun busts. Biden has launched new “trafficking strike forces,” which send more federal police into communities.

“I have taken more executive action to reduce gun violence than any other president in their first year in office — more than a dozen necessary actions, from cracking down on gun trafficking and rogue gun dealers, to promoting safe firearm storage, to reining in the proliferation of hard-to-trace ‘ghost guns’ that can be bought online and made at home,” Biden said in his statement on the Des Moines shootings.

It sounds good in theory, just use the federal government’s mighty power to hunt down all the bad guys.

But here’s what it looks like in practice: Secret lists of suspected gang members who are surveilled with no due process; pretextual traffic stops and stop-and-frisk-style tactics with clearly racist impacts; vast federal resources flowing to state and local departments without adequate local oversight; excessive use of militarized SWAT teams; trumped up charges and extreme prison sentences.

We have used this exact same playbook for illegal drugs and the results have been disastrous. We have filled the prisons but done little to mitigate problematic drug use.

He’s not wrong.

Look, I don’t think drug use is a good thing, but the War on Drugs has been a dismal failure. Drug use is still rampant and overdose deaths have continued to rise; this despite bipartisan efforts to curb the sale and distribution of illicit drugs.

Why on Earth would anyone think guns would be any different?

Especially since we do have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, one that the Supreme Court has ruled is an individual right. That’s not likely to be overturned, even with a new Justice coming to take the seat being vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer.

Replacing one anti-gun justice with another isn’t going to change things in the slightest.

So with that in mind, do we really think that if we can’t keep crack and heroin off our streets, we’ll somehow figure it out with regard to illegal guns? Far from it.

Biden has focused on guns because it appeases the base and he’s self-deluded enough to actually think it works, despite having had ample evidence laid before him throughout his lifetime.

There are other strategies that work. We’ve seen them used in all kinds of places. All we have to do is utilize some of those strategies and we’ll deal with much of the problem. We can look to find additional strategies to address the rest of it.

But gun control will never have the impact Biden imagines. Reality doesn’t work that way and you’re a dog-faced pony soldier if you think it does.